tv [untitled] August 5, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT
i do not have any problems other than the department i was in a formerly. it in the apartment above me have been diminished. i am not sure how to use this thing. this was my former apartment size. after the redevelopment, it has been diminished greatly, and a whole bedroom has been given over to the apartment next door. we have met initially with the owners and the architects in january, which is where we got the blueprints. one of the owners that is in attendance says we may not be going back to the original units. we may be moved to another area, which would be fine with me. we formerly had outside fire escapes. i do not see any hear any more. i am kind of curious about the
cost. i realize this is a very old building, and obviously it needed to be updated, but i am not sure we were prepared for lots and of unease. that is all. -- lots and balconies. that is all. president fong: is there any additional public comment? maybe i will start off and asked the project sponsor if they want to address how this building has been put back together, if there is anyone that can answer that. >> i will be happy to answer any questions. president fong: are there the same number of units? >> there are the same number of units. in fact, no units have been made smaller. some units have been made larger. we were able to move them
around. as somebody said, unit a was 500 feet. the new unit may be 750. this has to them relocated to a different section of the building. they were conforming non- conforming units. conforming units, we were allowed to march. others, we were not. we could not shrink the size of any units. we have complied with the goals and direction of the planning department. with regard to the fire escape, the fire escapes are gone, because we have fully sprinkle the building. all of the separations are up to code. hopefully, this is contingent -- the removing a fire escape is contingent upon the stair. we have met with the building
department. they have signed off on this. this is what they would like us to do. fire escapes are not a great way to get out of a building. they are not allowed in new buildings. it is something that exists because there is no other way. if we had the opportunity to make two code-compliant stairs, it does not require the fire escape. president fong: this is a safer, more up to code building? >> this is part of the project. there were no rated separations between corridors, between units, between floors. all of that is now up to code. the prior stairs were not in closed. the stairs are now in closed and rated. the egress did not comply. if you grant the variance, it
will be totally to code. commissioner moore: thank you for explaining that. could you please explain to the public as well as the commission that none of those are part of what we are approving today? we are only looking at the cu. this is an unusual case. never in six years has the project come packaged with the way it has. to answer that question, would you please explain the process and how these things normally come together? scott sanchez: what is before the planning commission today is the request on the conditional authorization, for the formula used. the second item i will be considering is the rear your
variance, with the addition of the stairs and the buccaneers, which provide open space for the units. this is unique, because they are doing multiple things here. they are rebuilding the unit. there were configuring some of these units. we have divided the building permits to those that were interior. i believe the permits for the interior work have already been approved. i think a lot of the concerns raised here today deal with rent issues, best addressed by the rent board. i can give the best advice to the people who came to speak on this item. >> there was a sense of urgency, so we did want to package it, even though not all of these items are necessarily before
you. commissioner moore: this type of alteration, raising the ceiling, does not require a 311 notification? >> it was covered in the notice for the conditional use hearing just so that folks were aware. it does require 312 notification. commissioner moore: that is why people spoke to their rental situation? >> there are 3 components. none of them require neighborhood notification. there is a second component which involves expanding some of the units vertically by adding a lofted space. that does require a neighborhood not vacation. then there is the component of the ground floor of alteration to commercial space, which is the cu before you. what is technically before the commission is the formula retail cu. commissioner moore: thank you.
i appreciate the explanation that some of the units were not compliant by size. the architect explain how he adjusts unit sizes -- that was not arbitrary shifting around of units to achieve larger or very small units. it was really following what the code requires these days. >> i cannot speak to the building code requirements. >> as part of the over-the- counter permit, the planning department verified all of that. commissioner antonini: i think this is a fairly simple thing. obviously, we have one formula retail use replacing another and much better use with the
improvements made to the ground floor. i appreciate all the other things we went into. this is exactly the kind of thing i talk about frequently, the ability to operate hazardous buildings. unfortunately, a fire was necessary to make this possible. if you look at the renderings of some of the exterior parts of the building, particularly the windows on the west side, which are being done to match those on the north elevation, which may have been what was originally there in the first place -- the inclusion of the second means of egress, the buccaneers, outdoor space -- there are a lot of good things being done, which is not before us. i am encouraged by this and would hope the zoning administrator grants those. it looks like a very good project. commissioner hillis: just a
question, because it came up in public,. what are the tenants' rights under rent control? are they allowed to move back into a unit? >> i am russell flynn, representing the owners. having spent five years on the rent board, i am fully aware of what the rent board requires. all the tenants are welcome to return. about half of them have already chosen to move on. those were the tenants who were playing -- who were paying market went and easily found other places. when we had the fire, everybody received a thousand dollars immediately, even if they had renter's insurance, to help them relocate. we were able to relocate the tenants as well as a sandwich shop. we have been in contact with those tenants, and someone in
the neighborhood has a web site which keeps everybody informed with what is going on. even though this project has been fast-tracked, 11 months later, we are just now getting before you. i do not expect we will be able to accommodate anybody for another year. maybe 18 months. it is a little premature for us to sit down and say this will be real. commissioner hillis: but a tenant has the right to move back into a comparable unit? >> if the have a studio, they would get another studio. if they have a one-bedroom, they will get a one bedroom. it will be at the same when they were paying before. commissioner hillis: 3 twins? >> they want to move back in as well. commissioner sugaya: i had a
similar question because of an experience i am well aware of. . a building across the street from me when a fire. i will not go into it. the formula retail -- one of the considerations is whether there are other formula retail establishments in the area. the analysis says the proposed formula retell use will replace the existing formula retail, not affecting the current concentration of formula retail uses. we do not know what the concentration is. >> we did not go out and do math surveys, the way we have four others. the legislation does not establish a threshold for a caps -- or a numeric cap. it is just saying it will not
affect the concentration. seeing as this is an exact replacement in the same building space, we felt this would not affect the concentration in the district. we felt it was not necessary to do. commissioner sugaya: i guess i am of the opposite opinion, thinking we should have had a list of formula retail uses, just in case we decided that we did not -- that we wanted to take the opposite direction, which is a decrease in the number of formula retail uses in an area where it has been highly concentrated. i do not know if this is highly concentrated. with fewer for miller retail establishments -- it would have been nice to have something on the area. >> i can share with you that this is a relatively small commercial district of about two blocks. from my memory, i cannot think
of one formula retail establishment in this area. if there are any, they are very low concentration. vice president wu: i had the same conversations. maybe the direction for the future, just too hard for miller retail in the neighborhood -- i support formula retail pharmacy, but it is helpful to have that context to judge the concentration or state of formula retail in a neighborhood commercial district. i also really like seeing the improvements in the window transparency. the plans were really hard to read. the number of them were mislabeled. it is good to see that the final plan is to have more windows, and to have the condition of window transparency. i also appreciate the responses on renters having the same unit
size at the same rent. although that is not technically in front of us, that is important. finally, and wanted to ask for a response to the public question about the sidewalk, just to clarify what the plans are for the sidewalk. >> the sidewalk is not directly in the purview of the planning department. i would like to defer to the project architect, if he has the information. >> this is an old building with some great issues. we are not sure how we are going to solve that -- with some grade issues. commissioner moore: i am in support of formula retail in this particular case, just like commissioner wu. we are talking about the
replacement of the pharmacy. i assume as a planning commission we do not have any say about the% of pharmacy. some of the other -- the percent of pharmacy. some of cvs developments emphasized not only pharmacies, but competing use like sandwiches and everything that comes with it. i would want to protect the small sandwich shop which will move back into another part of the building, and make sure the pharmacy emphasis is the larger mission of this particular store in this location. do we have any ability to influence that? scott sanchez: i do not think there is anything before you that would specify the pharmacy applications take a certain percentage of the use.
commissioner moore: the problem with transparent windows -- i am making a criticism of cvs. on california street, there is a new cvs with transparent windows. it is the most unattractive thing on the street. having seen members of the public sit and not, i would suggest that where i have a transparent windows, i want to see some but attractive on the inside. that means either the merchandise is displayed in a way that encourages or entices the view, rather than looking at a cardboard carton stacking up next to the window. perhaps we could have an influence on that at least. >> the condition of approval that discusses the mandatory transparency also establishes a
distance from the windows on the interior, from which no item can block. there is a true pedestrian level of visibility into the retail space, rather than having various items on the interior. commissioner moore: that means the display of merchandise is enticing, and is not just looking at all of the apples in the world. some other formula retail people do that very well. the change advertising and merchandise. i would expect that would happen here as well. commissioner antonini: i agree with the supervisors about making sure what is seen through the windows is attractive. also, i think the visibility brings good features in, especially after dark. it is a lighted area. activity is there.
you look out as well as look in. it is a good security measure. i think it can make a more inviting environment. in terms of form and the retail along eighth street -- along haight street, this is lower haight. i am not familiar with many of them. there would not be a huge concentration. there was a gap, which may not be there anymore. i do not remember a lot. we could get a staff report to show what is there, even if it is almost nothing. it is certainly not a factor in this case. commissioner sugaya: we have talked about this about this before.
the majority of stuff that goes on in the stores is the selling a product. increasingly now food and drinks and that sort of thing. walgreen's in my neighborhood has bananas and apples. you might as well not go to the supermarket any more. i am fine with it because -- i may not be fine with it, even though there was a walgreen's there before. if we could concentrate the use or limit the use to pharmaceuticals and drugs and that kind of thing, then maybe i would be more sympathetic to it, but the fact that we have discussed this before -- especially commissioner miguel was interested in seeing if the department could come up with a way to control this type of use.
commissioner antonini: on the other side of the colon, pharmacies like this to provide a lot of services in many neighborhoods that are lacking. there may be a situation where you do need and apple later at night and you could go into the walgreen's where they're either is no grocery store or the grocery store that is their is not open in those hours. it is a fine balance, but since we do not have as many of the traditional pharmacies that have a few sundry items and more -- we have a few 5 and 10 cents stores left in the city which serve a purpose -- it is nice to go somewhere a little later in the night to pick up some duct tape if you need it and the hardware store has been closed for four hours. i mean, it serves a purpose. >> i will chime in for a little
bit. last week, there was a papa john's pizza and included a page with the 8-blocks of retail. this particular project is sort of a replacement. i feel this is a sort of one-to- one replacement, so i am in support. commissioner moore: at the core of commissioner sugaya's comment, president fong and i share a great respect for san francisco entrepreneurial businesses. the possibility of the store competing with every other small entrepreneurial store on the block is of great concern to me. that includes buying the tape and buying the apple at night because that is really the
strength of the stores in these neighborhoods, who we do not want to be affected by approving this project. moor--commissioner fong: any otr comments or questions? >> i do not have a motion. commissioner antonini: i would move to approve. commissioner wu: second. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is for approval. commissioner antonini: aye. moorcommissioner moore: aye. >> the motion passes unanimously.
>> also noting that while it is coming further out of conformity with the rear yard requirement, it is closer into requirement with open space requirements and is improving usable open space for approximately 1/3 of the units in the building. that is all from the one. okay, the planning commission is back in session. if i could remind all of us to silence or turned off our cell phones. commissioners, your on items eight -- you are on the items 8 a and b, case 2012.0032exv for 100 van ness avenue. request for compliance and requests for variances. before you take the items
themselves, it is - standing there are a number of requests for continuance of this item -- it is my understanding. >> late last week, several neighborhood organizations said in a continuous requests -- sent in a continuous requests -- set in -- sent in continuance requests so the project sponsor could present to these groups. the community leadership alliance will not be requesting a continuance. there is a meeting arranged between the project sponsor and this group on august 13. there is also a request made by an adjacent neighbor, who had wanted a full commission -- they
wanted the full seven commissioners at the hearing. they also had concerns regarding the construction safety as it relates to their property. >> commissioners, for your information, the chemist -- the request i did see through e-mail were -- the requests i did see through e-mail, many were related to not having a full commission. we were not sure if commissioners sugaya and hillis would be present. the fact that we are one down, i feel whole and fall as a commission. i did not accept the request for continuance. >> with that, good afternoon, members of the commission. >> commissioners, you must take
up the request. if there's anyone who wants to speak to that, they need to address your now, before you consider the merits of the case. commissioner fong: just to clarify, we are opening for public comment on the request for continuance. >> if the request years -- requesters are here, they should speak now. commissioner fong: is their public comment on the request for continuance? going once, going twice. ok, please continue. >> good afternoon. before you is a project to convert approximately 4000 square feet of office space into residential dwelling units. it would also propose a removal of existing concrete panel facades on a 400-foot tall building.
112 existing off-street parking spaces would be retained as part of the project and an additional six spaces are being requested. these would be located within an existing parking garage. existing parking access will be moved from van ness ave to an adjacent property, and this would be happening at a future date. existing loading spaces should also be retained. the planning commission determines the project complies with section 309. you must grant two exceptions -- one for the off-street parking ratio. it exceeds the permitted ratio. coverage provisions would also require an exception. the maximum allowable lot coverage for residential units is 80%. as the building is currently situated, it would have 100%
coverage and would continue to under the coverage. the zoning administrator would also be considering various requests. similar organizations have committed endorsements of the project -- several organizations have committed endorsements of the project. i pass this off to you for your consideration. as i mentioned, there were a number of continuance request i received last week -- a number of continuance requests. at this point, there is not any public comment in opposition, beyond the continuance requests, that we have received. project sponsor and staff have been working continuously on this. a condition of approval has been drafted that would require --
staff wants to see greater texture and depth expressed on a larger scale. the condition of approval also require the project sponsor to refine the building glass to a lighter color so it would more closely match the buildings on the civic center core as well as other high-rise buildings in the city. i would also like to bring your attention that condition of approval #23 regarding tidf was erroneously included, and it would need to be removed if the motion was adopted today -- condition of approval number 23. staff is amenable to the changes to these